All on 4
All on 4 refers to the number of implants that at placed within the jaw bone, either upper of lower; there are 4 implants fastened to a single solid full arch of teeth. The full arch may be made of acrylic or zirconia, but zirconia is considered by most to be a far superior material. Zirconia is one of the hardest materials on earth, there is no chipping or staining, they’re nearly impossible to break.
The reason All on 4 is such a big deal is that it is actually a much faster procedure than single or multiple implants. That sounds counter intuitive, but studies have shown that when at least 4 implant anchors are placed in the jaw, the appliance is stable enough to heal in place and fuse with the bone. All that is necessary is that a soft diet be followed for two or three months.
Since gums and jaws can change shape while healing, the first set of teeth is normally acrylic. Zirconia is not used initially because the fit of the arch may need some tweaking after everything settles down, and a second zirconia arch would increase the expense. Its best to wait until the jaw and gums are completely settled before milling the full zirconia arch.
Why do single and multiple implants take longer than a full arch? With single or multiple implants with less than 4 anchors, the implants are subject to too much movement to heal correctly. In order to get these implants rock stable, they are normally “buried” below the gum line and allowed to heal and fuse with the bone over a two or three month period, then they are “uncovered” and the abutments and crowns are placed. In the interim, the patient normally wheres a flipper.
The state of the technology to date is that teeth can be removed, bone trimmed, implants placed and the new teeth attached in just a few hours. Some patients don’t like waiting around the office while the full arch teeth are finalized, so they may go home after the surgery and return in the morning to have the brand new teeth attached. When they leave the office, they are like a new person! To find out if you are a candidate for this procedure, call us to set your appointment for an evaluation today.